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Watch Out for Hidden Dangers

I suppose I am sometimes guilty of not paying enough attention to my surroundings. That proved to be true one day as I came home to be informed by my wife that we had a potential bee problem on the front porch—wasps to be exact. There is nothing unusual about having to deal with an occasional wasp nest in my effort to keep the grandchildren from being attacked by the aggressive insects. Gale pointed to the area of concern but there was no nest to be seen, and only a half dozen or so of wasps congregating overhead near our front door. It looked like she had discovered them before they started building a condominium to raise their young in.

No action was taken at the time and I forgot about the uninvited invaders for a few days. One night as I came in I remembered that I had not taken care of those few wasps so I went in and grabbed a can of insect spray to stop those critters before they caused bigger problems. As I sprayed the few wasps that were visible I noticed that others were starting to emerge from a small opening in the overhead of the porch. As I continued to spray, concentrating my attack on the small opening, a continual stream of sickened wasps started to fall to the floor. I kept spraying and they kept crashing down. When no more pests were seen coming down I looked at the result of my extermination efforts—there must have been two dozen or more of the dying insects. The few we had seen on the surface were just a small representation of the many others hidden from our sight.

The concealed nest was not built overnight. Activity had been going on for some time without us being aware of it. The front door had slammed many times by all the energetic little girls that we have frequenting Nana’s and Papa’s house and if the wasps had gone into attack mode we could have had some suffering little girls. Thankfully Papa came to the rescue before anything bad happened.

That was a case of danger being hidden nearby without us having any idea of its existence. It pays to stay on the watch for hidden dangers that exist physically and spiritually.

At a time when there was much hidden danger for Christ and His followers, He gave them instruction about being watchful: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41, New International Version). Christ spoke those words during a most critical time in His life shortly before He was crucified for the sins of the world. As certainly as He saw the need for His disciples to be watchful and prayerful at that critical time, the need for prayerful watchfulness continues to be vital to the spiritual wellbeing of God’s people today.

One means of remaining alert to hidden spiritual dangers that are often closer to us than we realize is to have spiritual weaponry hidden within so we can combat temptations and attacks that seem to come out of nowhere. The Psalm writer provides a reminder of what remains available to God’s people: “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). It is not enough just knowing facts from the Bible, so we must allow it to sink deep into our hearts and impact our thinking, our desires, and the actions of our lives.

Like the few wasps that we saw on the surface, the larger threat of spiritual attack might be hidden. But when we remain spiritually watchful, prayerful, and guided by God’s Word we have the weaponry necessary for spiritual safety. We live in an atmosphere today in which it is essential that we watch out for those hidden spiritual dangers that are waiting for the opportunity to attack.